Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Review - The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith

Ancient Egypt Series, by Wilbur Smith
1. River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Have Not Read)
2. The Seventh Scroll  07/08/2012 * *
3. Warlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Have Not Read)
4. The Quest (Have Not Read)

From Goodreads:
For 4,000 years, the lavish crypt of the Pharaoh Mamose has never been found...until the Seventh Scroll, a cryptic message written by he slave Taita, gives beautiful Egyptologist Royan Al Simma a tantalizing clue to its location.  
But this is a treasure cache others would kill to possess. Only one step ahead of assassins, Royan runs for her life and into the arms of the only man she can trust, Sir Nicholas Quenton-Harper-a daring man who will stake his fortune and his life to join her hunt for the king's tomb. Together, they will embark on a breathtaking journey to the most exotic locale on earth, where the greatest mystery of ancient Egypt, a chilling danger and an explosive passion are waiting.

Steeped in ancient mystery, drama and action, The Seventh Scroll is a masterpiece from a storyteller at the height of his powers.

My Thoughts:
I'm not even sure where I got this book from - I think it might have been out of a bag of books that my mom gave me.  I'd never heard of the author before, and didn't even realize it was part of a series until I looked it up on Goodreads when I was about halfway through the novel.  But even though The Seventh Scroll is actually the second book in a series, it works as a stand alone novel.

Mostly, I enjoyed The Seventh Scroll.  The character of Royan was entertaining to read and easy to relate to, for the most part.  Overall it's a decent story, and parts of it were fascinating.  Many other parts were boring, dull, poorly written, overly descriptive, super predictable, and a few were actually cringe-worthy.  And something that bothered me immensely, the POV changes randomly, sometimes even in the middle of a paragraph.  I love multiple Points of View, but I'm of the opinion that the POV change needs to happen at a chapter break, or at least a section break within a chapter.  But in The Seventh Scroll, the POV seems to change completely randomly, and didn't always makes sense to me.

As I read through the many reviews from other people, though, I almost wonder if I'm missing something.  Many others seem to love the author and this series, and rave on and on about how good it is.  I didn't hate The Seventh Scroll, but I didn't love it either.  It's a good read, and starts well, but the middle part of the novel loses momentum and never quite picks it back up again.  By the time I muddled through to the end I just wanted them to find the treasure and be done already.

I'm giving The Seventh Scroll two stars.  I feel vaguely bad about doing so, but I'm also not quite willing to go to three stars and say I liked it.  It was ok.  I probably won't try any of the rest of the series, even though the first book in the series, River God, seems to get rave reviews. But I think I'll pass, for now at least.

Have you read The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith?  What did you think - am I way off base?


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